Gareth Southgate springs a massive surprise

The pressure will all be on Gareth Southgate to finally produce an England squad capable of winning a major tournament this summer.

The Three Lions can oh so close in the previous edition of the European Championship, losing on penalties to Italy in the final.

Southgate had also managed to get England to the semi-finals of the World Cup back in 2018, and despite being comfortable against Croatia, they ran out of steam and were eventually beaten.

Therefore, if he wants to go one better than before, he has got to get things spot on in terms of squad selection.

Gareth Southgate drops Jordan Henderson

According to The Athletic (subscription required), ahead of the official announcement, Southgate has already sprung one massive surprise which will almost certainly get tongues wagging.

A player that epitomises all of the qualities that the manager expects from his players is Ajax ace, Jordan Henderson.

Jordan Henderson has been left out of the provisional England squad for Euro 2024 by Gareth Southgate

The former Liverpool captain is a calm, experienced head in the midfield and a warrior when required, but it seems that his failed move to Saudi Arabia and subsequent inability to help Ajax towards the upper echelons of the Eredivisie – they finished 35 points behind title winners PSV – has cost him his place. His age, 33, will undoubtedly have also counted against him.

The outlet also note that his former club colleague, Curtis Jones, is likely to get a first senior call-up, indicating just how much his star has risen over the past 12-18 months.

There’s sure to be a handful of other surprises when the official announcement comes, not forgetting of course that this is just a provisional squad and more players will need to drop out before the final 26 players are named.

If England go on to do well in the tournament, no one will bat an eyelid, however, if the Three Lions exit the tournament earlier than expected, Southgate will have some explaining to do.

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